Why a Man? The Metaphysics of Priesthood

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posted on Sep, 23 2012 @ 08:30 PM
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I'm often horrified by the sheer ignorance of those who try to defend the traditional Jewish and Catholic policy of only allowing men to become and serve as priests. Of course is asked why, it's defenders will say "because God is a man", and if asked why is God a man, they're left stumped. They have no answer. And this is usually how far their thinking can go.

It's time to put to rest this ignorance.

The ancients discovered early on that man and woman are not fortuitous facts of human existence, but archetypes inherent in the interplay of existing things.

They abstracted from man as he is and noticed some things of importance; first, in order for a human child to be created, it is the physical seed, or sperm, given by the man which is the ultimate "cause" of the child's development. Also noticed was man's physical body; he is on average about 5-6 inches taller than a woman. Put a woman in front of a man, and her 'head' would reach the upper chest of the man, or the heart. This fact again alludes to something 'antecedent' about the masculine. The "head" of the man 'transcends' the "body" of the woman, similar to how the seed or sperm is hidden or concealed by the future development of the child within the woman's body.

This same dynamic was noticed in nature; the rain is the essential cause of nature's growth and development, but it is nature herself which brings the verdure and animals who depend upon it to actual development. Thus, the principle emerged: the masculine is that hidden, abstract cause behind the outward feminine expression.

This process of abstracting from the given towards an ultimate predicate - a male or female 'principle' - is the ONLY justifiable reason for why men serve as priests and not women. And it's also a very persuasive reason for accepting this practice.

I think it's downright arrogant to ignore this fundamental condition of natural law, since it instructs man - the only creature able to abstract from the given and guide his life according to the principles discovered - how he can best live. We acknowledge laws of gravity and motion, but why is there such resistance to accepting divine law?

It only makes sense that a man serve as the representative of the hidden God which is concealed by the process of His creation, since it is man in his very nature who embodies the principle of the abstract and hidden.

To abandon this ancient metaphysics is to abjure the existence of natural law; which is paradoxical. Because it is the great genius of the era in which we live that has allowed us to peer beneath natures veil and establish 'laws' about how she is governed. Why do we acknowledge law when it serves our interests, but denounce it as irrelevant when it forces upon us a certain moral or ethical way of looking at things?

I do not deny that we have made great advances since the world has loosened it's morals and moved away from the metaphysics I'm discussing, but I do think there will come a time of rest from all this growth, and I think it is only natural that in this period of rest, that man not resist the natural law of the cosmos, that a man serving as priest is not an arbitrary decision of a 'patriarchal' society, but an unavoidable discovery of reason, a fact of existence which any human being can perceive, and because of this, if we truly desire to set up a society in consonance with natural law, it should reflect these basic dynamics, above all, in it's religious institutions.

This is ultimately why I have such difficulties accepting women becoming Priests or Rabbis. It's a departure from a metaphysical principle; it's the reversal of how it should be, how nature implies in it's dynamics that it must be if human society be in harmony with nature.

In the mass, one comes to experience the divine; the divine is universally regarded to be the "other" - not present in the world, but hidden away, abstractly related to the world in the same way that the fully developed human being is abstractly related to the sperm he evolved from; It is this essence, this relationship between Creator and created, between the hidden and manifes, that is sought in the mass.

This is why it is only right that men serve as priests.




posted on Sep, 23 2012 @ 09:23 PM
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reply to post by dontreally
 


Very logical.

Except your argument that nature is feminine holds no ground. We can see instances of matrifocal societies in humanity. There are species where the female is dominant, and it is attributed to their greater size and aggressiveness. The natural law it seems, is that the bigger more aggressive gender is more dominant. Such seems to be the case with man, and thus the reason why a man cannot fathom sharing that power with a woman.



posted on Sep, 23 2012 @ 11:18 PM
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reply to post by LesMisanthrope
 





Except your argument that nature is feminine holds no ground.


My argument was that the feminine was manifestation; and since nature is the principle of manifestation relative to it's cause - God, nature is therefore feminine.

I fail to see your evidence that my argument holds no ground.




We can see instances of matrifocal societies in humanity.


And the emphasis in these societies tends to be on the immediate natural causes of things. For instance, they look to natures immediate processes and deduce from it a guidance to living; but nature in herself is devoid of moral instruction for man. All she gives up is the basic dynamics - spiritual abstract processes - that God impinged upon her, but not nature herself.

For instance, this is the issue with Cain and Abel in Genesis. In Hebrew, Cayin (cain) means 'to acquire' and Hevel (abel) means 'vapor'. These are two typological personalities who look at things differently. Cain is a farmer, and offers up to God the fruit of the land. God see's this and thinks nothing of it. Abel conversely - without Gods commanding it - becomes a shepherd, even though God condemned man to living off working the land, Abel in any case lives his life shepherding flocks. This difference between farmers - who simply develops what is already present in the land - and Shepherds, who directs sheep, alludes to what the story is getting at. Cain looked at what was immediately present and sought to live through it. Abel conversely looked deeper into the world, and understood he didn't have to work the land, but would actually be better off taking care of sheep. Abel went above what was present: God gave him no command to do this, but since through reason he discovered how he could better himself, he did so, and because he followed his God given reason, God accepted his sacrifice and rejected Cains. Hence, when Cain grows all gloomy after being rejected by God, God replies "If thou doest well, shall it not be lifted up?" in the Hebrew it is הֲלוֹא אִם-תֵּיטִיב, שְׂאֵת literally, if you better yourself, will you not be lifted up i.e. improve your overall situation??

The Cains of the world - Babylon, Egypt, Assyria, etc - they take whats present and don't seek to add or take anything away from it. This is the general attitude of pagan civilizations. The world is 'fine' as it is, so instead of looking 'up' and abiding by the universal dynamic which you, me, or anyone invested with reason can see, they let the immediate screen of nature 'relativize' their spiritual approach.




There are species where the female is dominant, and it is attributed to their greater size and aggressiveness.


Indeed, I went to the zoo a few weeks back and I observed how much larger certain species females are than their males. It's particularly noticeable in spiders. I don't know, perhaps there's a teleological significance to that?? But in any case, we are humans, not spiders; we abstract from ourselves to discover moral guidance, not from spiders, or any other animal.




The natural law it seems, is that the bigger more aggressive gender is more dominant.


But you're looking into a lower kingdom to discover that. The lower kingdoms of nature perhaps allude to how nature functions at that primitive level; to draw morality from the spider, for instance, indicates to me that the 'feminine' at the level literally swallows up the male after she has made use of him; that's a graphic metaphor for what many people would imagine to be how the passions "absorb" man until finally displacing him as an individual altogether.



posted on Sep, 24 2012 @ 09:57 AM
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My argument was that the feminine was manifestation; and since nature is the principle of manifestation relative to it's cause - God, nature is therefore feminine.

I fail to see your evidence that my argument holds no ground.


I specifically meant the assertion that male and female are 'archetypes inherent in existence'. Like you mentioned immediately after, the ancients were in the habit of abstracting things and this is most likely the case with with your assertion. Abstracting existing things into male and female archetypes is a contrived concept. You didn't provide an argument for your first presupposition. Therefore, I see no ground for the rest.

Also, man's sperm isn't the ultimate 'cause' of a child's birth, gestation is. If that sperm doesn't come into contact with an egg and vice versa, there is no birth. Of course, we know anything birthed or manifested is actually created and nurtured within the female.

I just fail to see how 'manifestation' is feminine, and the supposed Self-caused First Cause is masculine. Maybe you can convince me otherwise?



posted on Sep, 24 2012 @ 10:13 AM
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The ovum is also essential to produce a child. A female mammal is born with all the ovum she will ever have.
edit on 24-9-2012 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 24 2012 @ 10:16 AM
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God is not a man or woman. God is non dual.



posted on Sep, 25 2012 @ 02:11 AM
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reply to post by LesMisanthrope
 





Abstracting existing things into male and female archetypes is a contrived concept.


How is it a contrived concept? Every concept is contrived from somewhere. The concept of male and female ultimately derives from the inherent dualism involved in existence. There is a left and there is a right, an up and a down. This is basic. Because Man and woman, the only creatures able to discover this fact, notice it, they deduce that there must be some essential relationship between left and right, up and down - a relationship dynamically similar to the complementarity of masculine and feminine.

From this basic deduction one moves toward the overall theory of masculine and feminine being involved in all essential processes in existence.




Also, man's sperm isn't the ultimate 'cause' of a child's birth, gestation is.


What I mean to say is, it is the sperm which actively leads to pregnation. It is the sperm - and not the egg - doing the acting. First, it is the sperm; the egg takes it in, and then gestation occurs. Gestation is the combination of the two processes, and indeed, together they are one and equal, but there is a linear connection between the sperm and the egg, and the sperm comes first in its activity.




I just fail to see how 'manifestation' is feminine,


This is actually a fairly basic concept of almost every metaphysical tradition the world over, from the neoplatonists to the Kabbalah, to Sufism and the Vedanta.

As said, the basic dynamic is male-female. As in the sperm preceding and being the activity prior to gestation, in mans head transcending the 'body' of the woman, which again refers in objective terms how the males 'consciousness' is transcendent, or outside the innerness of female gestation, or 'within' the body of the masculine (a womans head reaches a mans upper chest, on average). These are consistent metaphors for the same process and dynamic.

You tried to contradict this argument earlier by looking into a lower kingdom to justify that it was really just a power-weakness dynamic, showing that a female spider eats her male partner after having her way with him. But one could well answer that it makes no sense for man to look into a lower kingdom do discover the nature of fundamental existence. Fundamental existence is only relevant to man, thus only man would be the metaphor or image of fundamental existence (in historical thought, this idea is contained in the aphorism of 'as above, so below', or the macrocosmos and microcosmos). Looking deeper, to persist in this idea-metaphor-world relationship, the spider kingdom would refer to a particular way of functioning at a certain level of existence. It's not to be modeled by man, or to be looked at by outside it's particular context. It's context justifies itself.




and the supposed Self-caused First Cause is masculine. Maybe you can convince me otherwise?


Biblical exegesis could help to make clear my point.

Before there is Adam and Eve, there is Adam. Adam, unbeknownst to many, is not a man at first, but androgynous. He is not spoken of in terms of being an object - not a person yet. He referred to "him" as
,בְּצֶלֶם אֱלֹהִים בָּרָא אֹתוֹ: , "oto" the last word, refers to objects. It is entirely impersonal. The Biblical author then goes on to say וַיִּבְרָא אֱלֹהִים אֶת-הָאָדָם - he created Adam, זָכָר וּנְקֵבָה, בָּרָא אֹתָם , male and female he created them

So, ultimately, male and female are two sides of one greater entity, or reality. This is the underlying metaphysics of the book of Genesis. Only AFTER Adam is seen to be not enough by himself, is "eve" or Havah - living - adding to him.

This idea is really quite profound, since we take this book so literally that the impressive thinking beneath it goes overlooked. Adam is not 'enough' because the principle he stands for - principle in itself - is not in fact real, or cannot 'create' without something to bring manifestation to it. This is the union of spirit and matter (the latins obviously understood this hence, hence 'matter' 'mater' 'mother').
edit on 25-9-2012 by dontreally because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 25 2012 @ 03:39 AM
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reply to post by dontreally
 



Originally posted by dontreally
How is it a contrived concept? Every concept is contrived from somewhere. The concept of male and female ultimately derives from the inherent dualism involved in existence. There is a left and there is a right, an up and a down. This is basic. Because Man and woman, the only creatures able to discover this fact, notice it, they deduce that there must be some essential relationship between left and right, up and down - a relationship dynamically similar to the complementarity of masculine and feminine.

From this basic deduction one moves toward the overall theory of masculine and feminine being involved in all essential processes in existence.


I don't see any such inherent dualism involved in existence. Using left and right and up and down in the same sentence to promote dualism, when the 4 of them—not the two of them—are merely directions we have given names to, is not the greatest example. Can you only point in 4 directions? Man and woman don't discover this fact, they create this fact and contrive it as a mere linguistic convenience. Sure there's men and women, but there's also trans-gendered, homosexual, asexual and hermaphroditic humans. All dualism is the result of appearances, neither fundamental nor inherent.



What I mean to say is, it is the sperm which actively leads to pregnation. It is the sperm - and not the egg - doing the acting. First, it is the sperm; the egg takes it in, and then gestation occurs. Gestation is the combination of the two processes, and indeed, together they are one and equal, but there is a linear connection between the sperm and the egg, and the sperm comes first in its activity.


That sperm is nothing without the cooperation of the female's menstrual cycle. A sperm can act as many times as it likes, but no life will come to bear if there's nothing to fertilize. And if one of the millions of sperm happens to luck out, it won't become anything unless it is grown and nurtured within a uterus, a strictly feminine organ. Both are absolutely and equally necessary, with no gender taking precedence over the other.



This is actually a fairly basic concept of almost every metaphysical tradition the world over, from the neoplatonists to the Kabbalah, to Sufism and the Vedanta.

As said, the basic dynamic is male-female. As in the sperm preceding and being the activity prior to gestation, in mans head transcending the 'body' of the woman, which again refers in objective terms how the males 'consciousness' is transcendent, or outside the innerness of female gestation, or 'within' the body of the masculine (a womans head reaches a mans upper chest, on average). These are consistent metaphors for the same process and dynamic.

You tried to contradict this argument earlier by looking into a lower kingdom to justify that it was really just a power-weakness dynamic, showing that a female spider eats her male partner after having her way with him. But one could well answer that it makes no sense for man to look into a lower kingdom do discover the nature of fundamental existence. Fundamental existence is only relevant to man, thus only man would be the metaphor or image of fundamental existence (in historical thought, this idea is contained in the aphorism of 'as above, so below', or the macrocosmos and microcosmos). Looking deeper, to persist in this idea-metaphor-world relationship, the spider kingdom would refer to a particular way of functioning at a certain level of existence. It's not to be modeled by man, or to be looked at by outside it's particular context. It's context justifies itself.


You asserted that priests should be men because of natural law. I brought up the female dominant species such as your spider and the spotted hyena because they are indeed subject to the same natural laws that we are, yet the feminine is dominant. This is because the female gender in those cases is bigger and stronger, not because it lives at a lower level of existence. (I suppose I would have to adopt your dualism in order to abstract all animals into lower and higher kingdoms, so I will force myself) I would agree that we shouldn't model ourselves after the spider kingdom or any lower-kingdom, as there is no species on earth that models itself after another species. But we cannot negate their place in the universe in spite of the appearance that we live a somehow higher existence. They should at least be considered when we discuss natural laws.

That being said, I only disagree with your presuppositions. If I argued from within the boundaries of your premises and theology, where it seems I would be at a huge disadvantage, it may have been impossible to refute what you wrote.

S&F



posted on Sep, 25 2012 @ 09:45 AM
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reply to post by dontreally
 


Have you taken into account why men happen to have nipples?
In the womb all life starts as female. In fact all ovum are female, the change happens later after fertilization. The sex is determined by the sperm but the embryo is female to start with.

I am very interested in this that you wrote:
"In Hebrew, Cayin (cain) means 'to acquire' and Hevel (abel) means 'vapor'."

Do you know what Adam means in Hebrew? And also what Eve means?
edit on 25-9-2012 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 25 2012 @ 09:47 AM
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Job well done.



posted on Sep, 25 2012 @ 01:03 PM
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reply to post by Itisnowagain
 





In the womb all life starts as female. In fact all ovum are female, the change happens later after fertilization. The sex is determined by the sperm but the embryo is female to start with.


That's because all matter is female. Metaphysically speaking of course.

It's like blowing air into a balloon; The balloon is the rough product worked with. It can either be flat, without air in it, or blown up, with air in it. The 'spirit' element is the masculine content, while the matter aspect is the feminine substance. So it would make sense, metaphysically, that all life in this dimension starts off as female, and only then developing into male.



Do you know what Adam means in Hebrew? And also what Eve means?


Generally its taken to mean 'mankind'. But the 2 letter root of the word is 'blood' dam. The Aleph in front of it could imply the presence of an essence, or consciousness, since the Aleph is the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Aleph or 'undivided essence' combined with blood (dam) or body, and matter, would again allude to the twofold nature of Adam.

Eve, or Hawah, roughly means 'living'.
edit on 25-9-2012 by dontreally because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 25 2012 @ 07:00 PM
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reply to post by LesMisanthrope
 





Using left and right and up and down in the same sentence to promote dualism, when the 4 of them—not the two of them—are merely directions we have given names to, is not the greatest example.


I was using a spatial example to highlight the ubiquity of duality. That there is always a basic twoness to things. Of course, when you say "duality" you mean the opposite of 'unity', as duality includes within it the whole concept of multiplicity.

It's a basic quantification of reality.




Man and woman don't discover this fact, they create this fact and contrive it as a mere linguistic convenience.


You take a very obvious reductionist attitude to the discoveries of mans consciousness.

The concept of two is not merely a concept, but a center about which floats a particular perception of reality. Two may thus be a 'symbol' for a specific idea, but it more broadly refers to an intrinsic property of this reality.

I guess to see it as I see it necessitates the acceptance of ontology, and teleology. That things necessarily exist in some efficient way relative to the observer, and that they existent in a particular way to convey some rationalization of it by a conscious mind.




A sperm can act as many times as it likes, but no life will come to bear if there's nothing to fertilize.


You're missing the point. What's indicative of the dynamic or process underlying the fact is what's crucial; the sperm acts, and the egg is passive. The egg awaits the sperm, similarly to how most women await the courtship of a man. Again, the same idea reflected both in the biological co-mingling of male and female, and the entirely social and psychological need for man to pursue females, which is probably also reflected in the biological anthropology of men being strong and 'active' in the external world in which they function, while the woman is tending to the 'internal' and personal role as mother and teacher to her children, conveying the closeness and innerness of love to her children, expressing again the concept of woman being 'inner', enveloped by the public activities of her husband who procures sustenance from without, and passes it on in to the wife who transmutes this activity into building a home.

I'm saying there's an amazing consistency in these basic divisions and apparent complementarity between the masculine and feminine, completely reflected into this world conveying consistent metaphysical principles to the human mind.

Take again the example of how a woman - the feminine - has her menstrual cycle synchronized with the phases of the moon. The moon, again, is nothing in itself - in terms of the light it conveys at night. The moon is the 'passive' again, in receiving it's energy from the sun.

Is this all to you some massive coincidence??




Both are absolutely and equally necessary, with no gender taking precedence over the other.


You're misunderstanding me. I never said they weren't equal. I said they were equal, yet different from one another. You can't say yin is more important than yang; they are equal because without the other they simply do not exist.

I'm not advocating either, it should be mentioned, that I care to apply this concept to society. I've made clear through this thread that I'm speaking strictly religious terms. In religious terms, it is invaluable to be in consonance with natural law, and therefore, that a man serve as the priest, representing the hidden God. Man, conversely, is collectively the feminine in this relationship, emphasizing the passivity of our relationship with the divine. At least at church, or synagogue.

In society, I'm actually for a separation of church and state. In some countries, of course, Religion should become a fixture of the state, for instance, in the US, Christianity is an acknowledged aspect of the American people and the American political system; it is God who is constantly invoked, in Christian terms especially. Israel has a public calendar coordinated with Jewish holidays - and not Christian, or Islamic holidays. In Egypt, or Pakistan, it is the holy days of Islam. In India, it is the festivals of Hindu tradition.

This doesn't mean we should start persecuting minorities, since at the democratic level we defend these minorities.




This is because the female gender in those cases is bigger and stronger, not because it lives at a lower level of existence.


That's the thing. There is a parallelism between their biological state, vis a vis man, and their ontological state vis a vis man.

The lowness of a kingdom biologically, bespeaks an ontological condition appropriate for being at that level of existence. This is so because man - the only creature able to discover these realities - becomes the 'center' or basis, by which all things in existence are compared to. This is a completely natural and logical starting point.




But we cannot negate their place in the universe in spite of the appearance that we live a somehow higher existence.


Undoubtedly. There is no reason why a negative connotation of their existence should not mean a positive purpose in their existence.

From our moral perspective, the way a female spider treats a male spider is horrific. But, God created it that way; there is a beauty of sorts to this reality, but this beauty in no way impacts our moral reservations towards it. It is beautiful, yet I wouldn't look to it for moral advice.
edit on 25-9-2012 by dontreally because: (no reason given)





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